Thakadu Camp is a fantastic place to stay if you want all the fun of camping without any of the hassles. The very friendly Chris and Jeanette Woolcott run this absolute oasis of relaxation right in the heart of the Kalahari Desert. Their waterfall-fed swimming pool overlooks a watering hole where local wildlife comes daily. They have an open-air bar and restaurant serving absolutely fantastic food. Some evenings there is even roasted game like Kudu that is roasted all day to make an absolutely wonderful evening meal. Major sporting events and other special evenings bring large groups of locals into the restaurant so you can find out more about the local culture.
They offer budget dome tents with bedding and sheets. These mini campsites have electricity, potable water and a place to braai. More elaborate accommodation is available in nicely appointed Meru tenets. These tents have indoor toilets and hot showers. For the budget travellers like me the domed tent dwellers have access to the ablutions blocks. Clean toilets and (very) hot showers are at the ready. Camping is available with full services if you do want to use your own tents.
The site is accessible easily by 2wd cars. The entrance is right on the Trans Kalahari Highway.
It just does not get any better than Thakadu. I intended to stay one night and found myself staying there for 2.
• Game drives
• 1,2,& 3 day safaris (Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Tsodilo Hills)
• Horse trails
• Bushman dances
We also stayed at Buitsivango Farm, run by the Hardbattle family, less than an hour’s drive from Ghanzi but perhaps two hundred years in the past. We stayed in a Bushman’s hut on the edge of the Nharo San village, a rare chance to share San village life. They cater for visitors by combine food from their farm with bush foods you can help to gather.
This farm and Village is a very peaceful and relaxing setting, miles from civilisation. They trade under the name of Kalahari Sunset Safaris but be patient if you are trying to contact anywhere in Ghanzi by e-mail, as they only have satellite Internet connection and can’t handle file attachments.
If you follow our route into the Kalahari, you’ll need to stopover at Gaborone. There’s only one place for the discerning, budget traveller and s Mr. Bipin Aswathi’s Gaborone Hotel. This former Travel Lodge has an adjacent pub, which sports the longest bar in Botswana.
We really enjoyed our stay at Thakadu, just outside Ghanzi, run by English ex-pats Chris and Jeanette Woolcott. You can camp in your own tent, stay in a pre-erected canvas tent or one of their luxury safari tents. The Woolcotts can arrange safaris into the remote parts of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve or you can take a night drive around their own private game reserve situated within the land of the “Khoi San” .
Thakadu has its own waterhole, where animals come down to drink at dawn and dusk, just a stone’s throw from the bar and restaurant. Thakadu is one of the few camps in Botswana who warmly welcome the budget traveller and is highly recommended. See the restaurant tips for more on this welcoming place.
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